stolen watches located in 2020
Services for dealers, pawnbrokers, auction houses, individuals, insurers and police
Perform fast and effective due diligence by checking THE WATCH REGISTER database prior to any transaction to avoid buying a stolen watch. Our service will give you and your customers peace of mind, and reduce your risk of confiscation or having to compensate a subsequent buyer if a watch turns out to be stolen. Demonstrating that you check THE WATCH REGISTER will help safeguard your reputation and earn the confidence of your customers.
If we determine that a watch you are checking with us is stolen, we will inform you immediately and request that you hold the watch securely. We will liaise with law enforcement and the victim or their insurer in order to resolve the matter.
Avoid lending on stolen goods and protect your reputation by checking items offered to you within minutes while your customer is still at the counter. Our service will help to ensure that you do not lose the value of your loan or risk confiscation.
We offer also subscriptions for checking certified diamonds, jewellery, artworks, antiques, musical instruments and all types of collectibles registered on the Art Loss Register in addition to watches. Please contact us for a quote depending on your requirements.
All items will also be searched against our database of authentication issues, thus allowing you to check if they have been reported as a possible fake or forgery.
Auction houses specialising in the sale of watches or which sell watches among other items can subscribe to routine catalogue searching carried out by the Art Loss Register. This will provide reassurance for buyers and help to ensure that any items which are stolen or subject to claim are identified prior to sale and withdrawn from auction.
Normally, all lots valued at £1,000 and above are checked against the database, but additional searches are also available free of charge for private sales and items with suspicious provenance prior to their inclusion in a catalogue. For subscribing auction houses we also offer free registrations and assistance in the process of resolving a match.
Buy with confidence by checking the serial number of any pre-owned watch against THE WATCH REGISTER database or asking if your seller has already done so. It is the simplest step to ensuring good title. Alternatively, if you have suffered the theft of a watch, registering it on THE WATCH REGISTER database will offer you the best chance of finding it in future.
Insurers can register lost and stolen watches on THE WATCH REGISTER database in order to maximise their recoveries. We offer insurers free registrations and reduced recovery rates under contract. A stolen watch can be rapidly re-sold, and by registering on our database insurers will improve their chances of preventing a sale and locating the watch. Our search operations also allow insurers to detect fraud. Please contact us for more information.
THE WATCH REGISTER team are pleased to offer its search and registration services free of charge to all law enforcement agencies worldwide. We have a long history of working with agencies such as the FBI, Interpol, the Metropolitan Police Service and others. Please contact us and we will send you information on how to register losses and request searches of our database.
In the event that a watch or other item reported to you as stolen is located by us, we will request that the person checking it against our database secures the item and we will immediately inform you of its location. We will then provide any assistance you, the theft victim or insurer require in the recovery of the item.
About THE WATCH REGISTER database and its services
THE WATCH REGISTER team run the largest international database of lost and stolen watches available for due diligence, which also includes frauds as well as fake watches. It is the central database used by police forces, insurance companies and theft victims to register and recover losses. It also offers a database search service to retailers, pawnbrokers, jewellers, auction houses and collectors, which allows them to check the status of a watch prior to transactions.
THE WATCH REGISTER database currently lists over 70,000 lost and stolen watches, and is growing rapidly. Watches by over 850 different brands, manufacturers and watchmakers are registered on the database, including Rolex (25,000), Omega, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Breitling, TAG Heuer, IWC, Franck Muller, Panerai, Breguet, Bremont, Hublot, Girard Perregaux, Piaget, Jaeger LeCoultre, Zenith, Richard Mille, A. Lange & Sohne, Baume & Mercier, etc. The database also includes vintage, antique and pocket watches.
THE WATCH REGISTER database provides due diligence services to the watch trade, which allow pawnbrokers, watch dealers, auction houses and collectors to check the status of a watch within 5 minutes and from less than £2 per search.
Thanks to the growing use of the database by the trade and collectors, and THE WATCH REGISTER team’s collaboration with industry partners, a hundred thousand pre-owned watches passing through the international market are now checked against the database per year. These widespread search operations offer theft victims, insurers and police forces the best possible chance of recovering stolen watches.
THE WATCH REGISTER database is part of the Art Loss Register. Founded in London in 1990, the Art Loss Register is the world’s largest private database of lost, stolen and looted art, antiques and collectibles. It now contains information on half a million items. The range of items is considerable and includes paintings, sculptures, antiquities, watches, clocks, jewellery, musical instruments, furniture, books and coins.
The database is used by law enforcement, insurers, the trade, museums and private individuals worldwide in order to register losses with the aim of recovery, and the Art Loss Register has worked with these bodies to establish standards of due diligence within the art market and provide risk-management services. The database also holds records of fakes and forgeries, items which are subject to a dispute, items against which a loan has been secured and items registered pre-loss.
The experience gained throughout the Art Loss Register‘s 30 years of existence, during which property worth hundreds of millions of pounds has been recovered for the benefit of its rightful owners, now enables us to offer a dedicated and unrivalled service comprising due diligence searching, registration and recovery.
THE WATCH REGISTER team have three main goals:
Firstly, we want to make it as easy as possible the trade and collectors to carry out due diligence on the watches they buy and sell, and thus to protect themselves from the consequences of dealing in stolen goods. To do this, we provide a fast and simple search service throughout the day via our website or by text message, with the response reaching you within minutes.
Secondly, our aim is for our service to be used as widely as possible so that the watches on the database are checked against as many items as possible being offered for sale or loan. This will maximise the chances of the stolen watches registered on the database being found.
Finally, we endeavour to return the stolen watches we locate to their rightful owners as swiftly as possible, and negotiate settlements with any good-faith holders efficiently and discreetly.
All these goals complement each other and allow us to work towards our overall aim of reducing watch-related crime and its impact.
How to use our searching, registration and recovery services
Trade and collectors:
Members of the trade and collectors can request one-off searches for £10 or purchase subscriptions from around £2 per search (plus VAT where applicable). Clients can also pay in euros or US dollars. We offer subscription bundles ranging from 20 – 1500 search credits, which are all valid one year. These can be purchased here.
To search a watch against our database we require the brand, model and serial number. Users can submit searches via their web account here, by SMS or Whatsapp. Lists of multiple watches can be submitted using the Bulk Upload option. Our team will check each watch against the database within 5 minutes during office hours (9 am – 6 pm GMT, from Monday to Saturday).
If the watch in question is clear from our database, we will issue a Certificate to your account. Certificates can be provided to your customers to add value and give peace of mind, and kept for your records as proof of your due diligence.
Searching THE WATCH REGISTER database is one step in your due diligence process. It is important to note that not every loss or theft is reported to us. Therefore, the Due Diligence Recommendations on our search form outline some further steps you should follow when buying a watch to ensure the best possible protection against the risk of stolen property and financial loss.
Searching is free of charge for law enforcement. Please contact us at [email protected] to request a search of our database.
Police officers, insurers, private individuals and the trade are encouraged to register lost and stolen watches on THE WATCH REGISTER database in order to maximise their chances of recovery. Watches must be registered with a serial number in order for them to be uniquely identifiable.
There is no charge for registrations by law enforcement agencies or subscribing insurers. Individuals are asked to pay a small fee of £15 / €17.50 / $20 per item (plus VAT where applicable) in order to register their loss. The watch will then remain registered on the database at no extra cost until it is recovered. At the time of registration we will request a crime reference number, details of insurance cover and proof of ownership.
To register a watch, please complete the form here.
In the event that we locate your lost or stolen watch through our search operations, we will inform you immediately, request that the individual searching it against our database holds it securely and provides the contact details of their seller. We will liaise with the victim, their insurer, the individual who searched the watch against our database and relevant law enforcement agencies in order to resolve the matter.
We charge a 5% location fee to victims of theft or their insurers in the event that we locate a watch they have registered with us and they handle the recovery themselves or with the help of the police. This covers the cost of us locating their watch, taking immediate action to secure it and notifying the relevant parties.
We offer an optional recovery service whereby you may appoint us to represent you in the process of recovering your watch or negotiating an amicable settlement with a good faith holder. For this service we instead charge a 20% recovery fee. We have developed considerable expertise in resolving complex title disputes in order to secure a recovery for theft victims or insurers, with success in negotiations even after limitation periods for a claim have expired.
These fees (location or recovery) are based on the ultimate net benefit to the claimant and only apply if the watch is successfully recovered or a sum secured for the claimant’s benefit out of the recovery. For more information please see our T&Cs here.
Register your lost or stolen watch on THE WATCH REGISTER database to maximise your chances of recovery. Once registered, it will be checked against a hundred thousand watches passing through the pre-owned market each year, which are searched against our database by dealers, jewellers, pawnbrokers, auction houses and our industry partners. Your watch will remain registered on our database until it is recovered. In the event that we locate a watch you have registered we will contact you immediately and take steps to secure it, so that it can be returned to its rightful owner.
Please complete the registration form by clicking the button below. It is important that you provide the serial number of your watch and proof of loss in your registration.
“The assistance provided by THE WATCH REGISTER team continues to be of great investigative value to police and contributes hugely to reuniting stolen goods with their rightful owners. The Art Loss Register has the biggest database of stolen watches and they are able to give an instant turnaround, with results for officers, the trade and the wider watch industry. This has proved extremely successful over the last couple of years and they are a great asset in the fight against crime.” – Metropolitan Police, Flying Squad
“Fish Brothers Group is both a pawnbrokers and traditional jewellery retailer. In recent years we have seen large growth in the pre-owned watch element of both of these businesses. THE WATCH REGISTER has been hugely important in this. Prior to its launch, and post Rolex shutting its lost and stolen register, we operated in a mercy world; always intent to do our best by our customers, but very aware to vulnerabilities. With the implementation of THE WATCH REGISTER however this has allowed us to operate in the knowledge that we have done our best in order to prove good provenance on any watch we acquire. In this extremely fast-moving world, THE WATCH REGISTER keeps up. Their response times are always extremely quick, and when a stolen watch does turn up, once again, they are extremely swift to make contact and are able to hold our hands through the process of getting the watch back to its rightful owner. Their online portal is also extremely easy to use. We ourselves have been unfortunate and had several watches stolen in the past, and THE WATCH REGISTER is always our first port of call when this has occurred.” – Fish Brothers Group
“I have no affiliation or axe to grind when I unreservedly endorse the ALR’s (Art Loss Register) THE WATCH REGISTER as the market leader which members and dealers really must use. It is increasingly the established resource automatically referred to by police, insurers, the watch trade and others. Any other database can be checked in addition, but should not be used in place of it. While THE WATCH REGISTER is a commercial venture, it has over 70,000 watches registered and in my experience is the market leader in terms of data and service. While there is a small cost for running checks against it, this is discounted for volume users and the service is slick, operated fully online for us. The free, downloadable certificate confirming that a check has been carried out satisfies most customers and probably covers more than the cost of our searches, adding perceived value to watches which otherwise have no paperwork.” – Haywood Milton, Miltons Jewellers
“We have been using the Art Loss Register service for more than five years and find it exceptionally efficient and easy to navigate. With offices in the UK, New York and Beverley Hills it is critical we have a tool that we can rely on and the Art Loss Register helps us ensure that we are not lending against items that are stolen which in turn helps us operate compliantly.” – Borro Ltd
“An absolutely essential service for anyone buying and selling watches. You can text your request and get a response in a few minutes. I have been using it for years and I cannot recommend it highly enough.” – Pandeli Enterprises, Hatton Garden
“THE WATCH REGISTER database is such a convenient service as it gives peace of mind to our business when buying watches and the text message response is very efficient; within 5 minutes you will get an answer.” – RPM Pawnbrokers
“We have been associated with THE WATCH REGISTER since 2016 and during that time we have been able to recover a number of lost and stolen watches and this includes re-uniting treasured timepieces with their grateful owners. THE WATCH REGISTER is an invaluable tool for the work that LMG do and the feedback we receive from the many insurance companies we work with is always positive. We look forward to continuing our association with THE WATCH REGISTER and for it to become an even more successful partnership in the future.” – Loss Management Group (LMG)
“I am genuinely really impressed that you have found this watch. It is clear that the register really does work and I will continue to use it on every watch related claim that I can.” – Michael Kennedy Associates
“The Art Loss Register were fantastic in securing us a very significant benefit from the sale of a Rolex stolen some ten years earlier. While I don’t wish the need for legal assistance on anyone, if you found yourself in a situation that would warrant their services I would highly recommend the Art Loss Register.” – Theft victim represented by the Art Loss Register in the recovery of a stolen Rolex
“My watch was identified by the Art Loss Register and Rolex database and restored to me today. I had been unable to afford to replace it, and to be reunited with my watch in excellent condition is amazing, and I am very pleased with how the Metropolitan Police Service in collaboration with Rolex and the Art Loss Register have dealt with this case.” – Theft victim whose Rolex was recovered following a criminal investigation launched by a match against THE WATCH REGISTER database
“I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to the Art Loss Register team for an amazing job locating and getting possession of my stolen Rolex. I really had little hope that it would be recovered, and am so grateful for your help.” – American citizen whose Rolex was stolen in London
Send us a message using the form below, providing the name of your business and your contact details, and we will be in touch: